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Three Plaintiffs in First DePuy ASR Hip Implant Lawsuit Settlement to Receive $200,000 Each

Aug 21, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

A new report says Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle claims with three recipients of its recalled DePuy ASR Hip Implant.  The agreements, which would resolve DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits that were filed in Nevada state court, are the first to be reached in the massive litigation over the recalled metal-on-metal hip replacement device.

The lawsuits would have been the first to go to trial, as they had been scheduled to go before a jury in December. Now that distinction will go to another state lawsuit, this time in Maryland, which heads to trial in January 2013.

The three settled claims were filed by plaintiffs who all had their DePuy ASR hip implants removed and replaced because of painful complications.  According to a Bloomberg News report, one of the plaintiffs claimed she had developed health problems from metal debris shed by the hip implant, while another claimed to have suffered bone loss.  Each of the three will receive $200,000 in the settlement.

Eric Gordon, a business professor at the University of Michigan who follows the pharmaceutical industry, told Bloomberg that settlements in the range of $200,000 to $500,000 per case are likely in other DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits.  Gordon said Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedic's unit could spend as much as $2 billion to resolve the DePuy ASR hip implant litigation.

The companies are facing some 8,000 similar lawsuits over the DePuy ASR hip implant, which was recalled in August 2010 after it was found to be failing prematurely in an unexpectedly high number of patients.  About 6,000 claims are pending in a multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, where the first trials are set to begin next May.  The rest of the claims are pending in Maryland, California and other state courts.

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